Reflexology Brings Body, Mind, Spirit Into Balance

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If someone gave you information identical to information you already have, how much would you value the information given? Well, you might put a small value on it because it confirms your knowledge and maybe helps you feel more secure. But it is unlikely that you would pay much for it.

It follows that the most valuable information could be the most different from the information you already have.

But there is a problem: New information could be different and useless or different and useful. We apply our minds to decide.

If you decide to dismiss new information summarily, then you are using the Semmelweis Reflex. The Semmelweis-reflex is the automatic rejection of the obvious, without thought, inspection, or experiment.

Even if initially you object strongly to new information, you may find that your objections are satisfactorily answered later.

Dr Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician who discovered in the 1840s that puerperal or childbed fever could be virtually abolished if doctors washed their hands in a chorine solution.

In the 1840s puerperal fever typically caused a 10-30% mortality rate in maternity hospitals throughout Europe. Semmelweis reduced the mortality rate in the division of the obstetric clinic where he worked in the General Hospital of Vienna from 18 percent to 1 percent. But he failed to convince his colleagues and superiors.

Instead of listening to him and disinfecting their hands, they hounded, persecuted, and fired him - for daring to suggest that they wash their hands properly. In the autumn of 1860, after the dismissal of Semmelweis, in the same ward where he had demonstrated how to virtually eradicate childbed fever, 35 out of 101 patients died.

In a book published in 1861, Semmelweis presented his statistics and findings. He sent copies to medical societies and to leading obstetricians in Germany, France, and England. Despite his copious and undisputed statistics, he was completely ignored.

Thirty years after Semmelweis' discovery, Lister and Pasteur succeeded in convincing doctors that they should disinfect their hands.

The Semmelweis-reflex is the automatic rejection of the obvious, without thought, inspection, or experiment. The results that Semmelweis produced made it obvious that his possible discovery needed to be inspected, experimented with, and thought about.

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